Digital Performance Management - 4 Key Metrics to Watch
October 26, 2015

Klaus Enzenhofer

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Today's websites are not just marketing channels, they are critical production factors. If a website doesn't deliver a satisfactory customer experience the entire value delivery chain breaks down, and a company will not generate revenue regardless of product quality or value proposition.

Mastering digital performance is one of the leading challenges of the web economy, and requires a joint effort between IT and the lines of business. It means measuring and managing the end-to-end transaction delivery and translating it into actionable information. This will allow you to deliver an engaging digital experience, thus maximizing revenue and improving brand loyalty.

This gets a lot easier if you simply monitor a handful of key application performance metrics. This blog describes four good ones to get started with:

1. Make sure that your online business is actually generating revenue

Cyber Monday 2014 was Walmart's biggest ever online shopping event, with mobile driving 70% of total traffic. Application performance was a major factor impacting the business results; a recent study indicates the company experienced a 2% conversion increase for every one-second improvement in response time.

It's the responsibility of both the business and engineering teams to define and achieve conversion and revenue goals, and keeping an eye on these two metrics in real time is essential.

The first set of metrics to add to your dashboard are:

■ Revenue targets

■ Conversion Rate

■ A number, or count, of money-making actions

2. Make sure that your infrastructure is available to generate revenue

There is nothing worse than your system being unavailable. This frustrates customers and often drives them to a competitor's website! Kia and Soda Stream USA struggled with this issue during Super Bowl XLVIII. To address this risk, set up an availability check for your IT systems. This is inexpensive, easily implemented and does not require much in the way of significant IT changes.

The metric to add to your dashboard is:

■ Availability from my top locations

3. Be certain that every revenue-generating customer is a happy one

You can track and understand the user's journey based on their actions. This allows you to determine what the user did with your application, how long they worked with it, which features they used and how the overall experience with your company was delivered.

The metric to add to your dashboard is:

■ User Experience Index

4. Are your business critical actions successful, erroneous or slow?

The user experience index is a great metric to provide a general overview, but there are some other revenue-generating transactions like "search", "add to cart", "check out" and "pay" that you should also be plugged into. For financial services companies, key transactions like "log-in" and "transfer funds" can be added.

The metrics to add to your dashboard are:

■ Number of executions of the critical action

■ Failure rate per critical action

■ Response time per critical action


It's the responsibility of both the business and engineering teams to not only define conversion and revenue goals, but also make sure they are reached. In IT you can't impact the product portfolio or how it's marketed, but you can certainly make sure application performance doesn't become a roadblock. You want to eliminate all revenue barriers, and a focus on digital performance can insure that the road to conversion is quick and easy.

Klaus Enzenhofer is a Senior Technology Strategist in the Center of Excellence at Dynatrace.

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